Question Soundbar to supplant or assist center speaker?

OhGod

Great
Feb 17, 2020
56
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Hello. We have a Samsung Smart TV connected to a Sony 5.1 home theater system through the Sony 3D/BluRay receiver. What we find, is that while some sounds are amazing, sometimes spoken words/voices are very low. Example: Streaming Goodfellas, the gunshots and narration were too loud, while the rest was too low. We re-adjusted the speaker distance settings, the decibles, etc., and it was somewhat better, but I later read that this is not unheard of, and that to resolve it, many people use a soundbar. My questions:

  1. Is this true? Does a soundbar remedy/help this?
  2. Would we ADD a soundbar, or EXCHANGE the center speaker we now have, for a soundbar?
  3. Can we use either a Sony or Samsung soundbar, or should it be specifically one or the other, and if so, which?
Thanks!
 
Adding a soundbar or replacing your center channel speaker with one is not going to help.
Soundbars are rarely designed for increased clarity. Since they are never meant to be used in a surround sound system there is no way to properly integrate one either.
You don't mention what speakers you are using but it seems to me that upgrading the front three speakers would be the best way to solve your problem. Speaker clarity is not a simple thing to design into a speaker and midfi manufacturers don't place a priority on it. Depending on your budget I would suggest you check out PSB, Revel, and Paradigm speakers.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
See if your receiver has something called a speech boost or anything similar. This audio issue comes up quite a bit with movies mixed with surround sound with speech going to a single channel. The reason this can be fixed at times with a soundbar is that they mix the channels differently than a full 5.1 setup and also they have options specifically to boost low speech in some models.
 

OhGod

Great
Feb 17, 2020
56
3
85
0
See if your receiver has something called a speech boost or anything similar. This audio issue comes up quite a bit with movies mixed with surround sound with speech going to a single channel. The reason this can be fixed at times with a soundbar is that they mix the channels differently than a full 5.1 setup and also they have options specifically to boost low speech in some models.
Thank you, hang-the-9. It is an older model Sony system: BDV-N790W (2013 or 2014 mfg. date, I think), with:
  • Integrated Blu-ray receiver (HBD-N790W)
  • Subwoofer (SS-WSB111)
  • Center speaker (SS-CTB111)
  • 2 Surround speakers (SS-TSB111)
  • Surround amplifier (TA-SA300WR)
  • 2 Wireless transceivers (EZW-RT50)
  • 2 Front speakers (SS-TSB112)
Navigating it is difficult. I think I've looked through all the options (it has so many!), but will look further for any speech or channel options. Hopefully I missed something and this will help. Otherwise I'll be back to pick your brain about soundbars again. :)
 
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